Is it because of Phineas and Ferb's juvenile spirit and love of activity? Disney's attempts to target boys with both the franchise and the Disney XD brand? Whatever the reason, Phineas and Ferb and sports seem to go together like a platypus and...whatever a platypus goes together with. Disney has already done tie-ins with the National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and FIFA, but now the boys have seem to have gone a step farther with a cross-promotional tie-in on a large scale with the National Hockey League.
Disney/NHL merchandise such as shirts, hats, and collectibles featuring Phineas and Ferb characters paired with NHL league and team logos will hit stores this fall in time for the new school year and the new hockey season. Variety reports that the tie-in also involves said merchandise being sold at NHL games, as well as Phineas and Ferb footage being utilized during NHL games.
In a press release, representatives from both sides gave their own takes on the deal, with Jim Haskins of the NHL's licensing department remarking that "[t]he Phineas and Ferb brand evokes creativity, youthfulness and high energy, not unlike the NHL brand...nearly one third of NHL fans are between the ages of six and 17, and 65 percent of those fans watch the Disney Channel." Disney's Stephen Teglas was quoted as saying that the tie-in "seems like the kind of adventure that Phineas and Ferb would imagine", adding that "Phineas and Ferb is successful because it appeals to a diverse demographic—kids and grown-ups, boys and girls", much like hockey itself. An interesting combination, but one that perhaps will be beneficial to both sides. Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, in a less frozen climate, the entertaining Matt Blum gives a little personal anecdote about the recent Washington Press Club event. Mr. Blum, of Wired's GeekDad blog, is a long-time fan of Phineas and Ferb, as readers of the blog probably know, and though he's done phone interviews with creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh for the blog, he's never met them in person...until now. Mr. Blum says he was very flattered to hear Mr. Povenmire tell him that his early review of the show for the blog was one of the first that really captured what they were trying to do with it. Messrs. Povenmire and Marsh also shared with Mr. Blum anecdotes about crazy things fans have done in an attempt to meet them, and a star-struck moment of their own: a photo of them with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart (who, as far as I know, is still the only person to impersonate Dr. Doofenshmirtz in a national TV interview). I assume- and honestly hope- that Mr. Blum was as honored to finally meet Dan and Swampy in person as they were to meet Mr. Stewart.
Mr. Blum will be interacting with Dan and Swampy again in a much more professional manner...well, somewhat more professional. As you may know, he's the moderator for this year's Phineas and Ferb panel at the San-Diego Comic-Con, which will be held this Friday. Along with the panel, an appearance by Perry the Platy-bus, and a large booth right near the entrance, Disney is promoting the show with a favorite Comic-Con goodie: five exclusive Agent P action figures from Jakks Pacific. Agent P appears to be (for the most part) dressed for the occasion, as four of the figures feature him as a James Bondish tuxedo-clad spy, a superhero, a ninja, and...um...wearing nothing. The fifth is a mystery figure. It, along with other mysteries, will most likely be unveiled this week at Comic-Con. If you're attending, have fun, if not, have fun following the news, and as a wise man once said, EXCELSIOR!